Monday, November 24, 2008

The Commute...home

With no fall back plan (i.e. Dad driving home from the airport) for the commute home, I had to make it. There simply was no other choice. Ride home or bust.

Honestly, I was a little bit worried. With how badly the ride to Fraser killed me, not to mention that I didn't actually make it, I didn't know what to expect.

In order to survive the ride, I took every precaution necessary. In doing this, I realized how many mistakes I made on the first day of the commute.

Mistake #1-I went the wrong way. Riding on Thursday, I could have sworn it was uphill the entire way. It was. It is much easier to ride from 11,300ft to 7,300ft then visa versa.

Mistake #2- I didn't stop for coffee (what was I thinking?). A coffee stop is essential when riding in 30 degree weather for hours on end. Not to mention caffeine helps you go uphill.

Mistake #3-I didn't eat enough. Bonking after 3 hours is due to eating a normal person breakfast and only a few stroops. For the ride home I ate a cyclist's breakfast-fruit, coffee, bacon, banana bread, cereal and yogurt . Not to mention the two bowls of ice cream I had the night before. I did not bonk. I did not get hungry.

Mistake #4-I carried too much in my backpack. I didn't need a change of clothes. I have clothes at home and that is where I needed to ride too. I didn't need extra socks, an extra jersey or an extra hat. I always get too hot, so I don't need to wear them or bring them in the first place. I rode home with the bare essentials.

I made it home no problem. I took my time, I took pictures, I took my hat off and put it back on 100 times, and I had a great time. It was very rewarding.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Commute

Most people commute to work.  Get in the car, drive, arrive at work.  The process reverses at the end of the day-leave work, drive, arrive at home.  Driving to and from work is how many people go about their day.

There are also many people who ride their bike to work.  Whether the ride is 5 minutes or an hour and a half, the bike commuters are a hard core group.  They are not only trying to save money on gas, they are making themselves AND the earth more healthy.   So I thought to myself, why don't I ride my bike to work?  I can get my training in and save the world all at the same time.  Never mind my job is more than 70 miles away, at a ski area, and I would start and end my ride at elevations higher than 8000ft. in November.  Riding to was motivation.  It was a goal.

This is how the day of my "commute" went:
-Wake up to frost and freezing rain
-Get a warning call from the Mom-"I called The Hard Rock Cafe in Empire and it is cold and icy there".  (Grrreat)
-Receive second warning call from Josh- "When you exit the dirt and hit Coal Creek Canyon it is SLICK!  So if you hit the deck, you can't blame me".  (fantastic)  
-Have another shot of espresso.
-10:25am start the commute and seek out all the gravel on the road so as to not slip and fall down.
-Sometime after that-stop and take off middle layer of clothing
-Sometime after that-change gloves (it's hard work trying not to fall down)
-12pm-arrive at the I-70 frontage road.  Call the Dad and tell him I am alive, eat a Stroop Waffle.  All is good.
-Idaho Springs (half way point)-the SUN comes out.  Get some seriously strange looks at the truck stop.  Eat another Stroop Waffle.
-1:33pm-Feel the bonk coming on (I swear I have been riding up hill the entire time).  Eat a banana, chocolate covered espresso beans and another Stroop.  I am getting tired.
-2pm-the Dad drives up behind me and asks if I want a ride.  "um...ok.  Yes please."
-Up and over Berthoud pass in the car.
-2:20pm- get out of the car, and ride the rest of the way "home" (Mom and Dad's house).
-3:00pm- stuck laying on the floor, in my chamois, hungry, wet, tired and a small feeling of failure because I had to get a ride.

The good news.  I had an amazing training ride AND I have the opportunity to do it all over again on Sunday when I get to ride back home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

full mOOn

Three winters ago, I made it my goal to do something fun every full moon. The coolest thing I did that winter was hike to the top of Stratton Mountain (Vermont), eat a picnic dinner (pb&j, and carrots), then ski down. It was so bright I didn't need my light. That was a very special experience.

This winter, I have again made it my goal to do something fun every full moon. Tonight, my best riding buddy, Megan, joined me for a night ride- cross bike style. It was super fun.
The camera had a hard time focusing on the fun.
Megan's lucky T-Shirt she wore while riding helped us avoid the skunk.
Doing things out of the "norm" creates really special memories. I can't wait to see what the next full moon brings.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Perfect Training

Ouch. That is what I am reminded of every time I race cross. Racing cross is HARD. It makes your chest hurt, your legs, back, and arms hurt and racing cross makes you want to throw up. In my case, had I thrown-up, it would have been chocolate covered espresso beans. So, maybe it wouldn't have been so bad. :) Yesterday's cross race in Golden was perfect. It was a nice day, good course with only 2 "get offs" and no run ups (phew! I do not like getting off my bike. Much less running...). I got a GREAT workout and got to race my new singlespeed cross bike.
It was super fun and perfect training.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No More Goofing Off

For me and many other cyclists, October is a time to goof off. No racing, no training, no riding, no being a "professional athlete". That goof off time, however, screeches to a halt on November 1st.

November 1st signifies the start of the training season. Rest time is over. It's time to figure out your goals for next year, talk to your coach, dust off your bike(s) and find the chamois. It's ridin' time.
I started my "official 2009" training riding my mountain bike on Kokopelli's trail in Utah. It was super fun and totally kicked my ass. Let the riding begin.